Packers make the right decision with Robert Tonyan

Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

With the Green Bay Packers deciding to use the second-round tender on Robert Tonyan, there are now only two potential outcomes this offseason.

Either Tonyan returns to Green Bay next season or the team will receive a second-round pick as compensation.

That’s because, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers have submitted the $3.38 million restricted free agent tender, the second-most expensive. But by spending a bit more money, the Packers get some extra security.

So, what’s next?

Well, it’s not yet guaranteed Tonyan will remain in Green Bay, but this was a good step.

As a restricted free agent, other teams still have the option to submit an offer sheet to Tonyan. If he agrees to the terms, the Packers would be faced with a decision. Either they match the offer sheet which means they take on that contract to keep Tonyan, or they pass and lose him, but receive a second-round pick as compensation.

As Silverstein notes, another scenario is that the Packers give Tonyan a long-term extension.

A reason for that would be to prevent other teams setting the terms of his next contract, while also potentially finding a way to lower his 2021 cap number, which important this year.

Will another team submit an offer sheet?

They absolutely could. Tonyan has become one of Aaron Rodgers’ most trusted targets with 586 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020. The Packers don’t want him to go anywhere.

Is there a risk they could lose him?

Well, it depends. Any offer sheet Tonyan agrees to, Green Bay will have the option to match. If it’s a reasonable deal, they likely will. The risk comes if a team with a lot of cap space frontloads a new contract which pushes his 2021 cap number up. The Packers could struggle to compete in that scenario. But the benefit is they’d receive a second-round pick in return.

The likelihood is Tonyan will be back, but the Packers made the right call to go with the second-round tender.